Sunday, April 24, 2016

Celebrate St. George's Feast Day - GFCF Style

This year, we celebrated St. George a day early, because we were over at a friend's home for another event and know she likes to celebrate feast days with food, too.

Since we slid our celebration in between a morning Doors of Mercy pilgrimage, and afternoon Duct Tape Battle and Girls Club and an evening Mercy in the Family film event, we decided to keep things simple,with a make-ahead or quick-prep tea-less tea and menu of possible activities to follow, depending on how we were all feeling. 

My friend and I who planned this celebration were also blessed to have one other family decide to join in last-minute.  Sharing faith, food, and friendship with more people is always a bonus, so we were delighted to include them!

Our Feast Day Table

Our Feast Day table was set with a white tablecloth, red runner, white candle, red candle, knight figurine, and dragon figurine, because St. George's shield and standard have a red cross on a white background and St. George was a knight who, legend says, slayed a dragon. (Of course, the dragon is symbolic of evil.)

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The food included:


  • a large St. George's shield: a juice wiggler, made with Knox Gelatine, raw local honey Wholesome Goodness Pomegranate-Blueberriy-Acai juice (which was bought inexpensively locally) and topped with So Delicious Cocowhip, so it looked like a red and white St. George flag.  (Honestly, it tasted a lot better than it looked!  It was actually a favorite and was the first thing devoured.)

  • small St. George flagsGratify Gluten-Free Cracker Thins topped (or not, depending on the plate since some children lake things plain) with Go Veggie non-dairy plain cream cheese spread, raspberries, and/or strawberry slices.

  • extra fruit in bowls

Also on the table were our selection of read-alouds:

Our Activities

We began our feast day celebration with grace and a prayer from the
Picture Book of Saints

Then, I asked the children what they knew about St. George already and read the factual account of St. George from Picture Book of Saints.  After that, we perused our feast day and chatted about how and why it might have been set the way it was

The children quickly picked up on all of the symbolism:

  • red-and-white for St. George's standard and shield
  • dragon to represent evil
  • swords to help slay sin

We, then, chatted a bit about what is fact about St. George, what is fiction or legend, and why the legends may have sprung up

After all the the faith-through-food chatter, of course, the children were more than ready to dig in, so they each picked a plastic sword and set to enjoying our tea-less teatime, while I read to the from the Story Library of Saints.  As I read, I paused to ask and answer questions about vocabulary, legend vs. fact, the importance of prayer when faced with decisions or up against evil, and more.

Once all the children were done eating, we asked them to clear their plates and had them go play outside, where they could play St. George with their newly made swords from Duct Tape Battle Club.  We grown-ups intended to clear the rest of the table and then, to set out more St. George activities, but it was such a nice day and the children were having so much fun, we just went with it, skipping the "lessons" part of our plan.

Simple Saint George Feast Day Lessons for Another Time

Had we not opted to skip lessons, our multi-age group would have hit on what I call the Core Four Plus (Reading/ELA, Writing, Arithmetic, Faith, plus Extras) with the following activities, which are now saved for another year:

Simple Reading/English Language Arts:

  • Read Saint George and the Dragon, gently discussing vocabulary words, vigorous verbs, and elements of literature, such as characterization, plot, conflict, setting, etc.
  • Solo or in pairs, see how many words you can list using the letters from Happy Saint George's Feast Day.
  • Read and write poems about St. George, perhaps using a pdf from Scholastic.

Easy Math:

  • Reiterate which day St. George's Feast Day is on.
  • Name all of the months of the year and write April 23, 2016 in several different ways(23 April 2016, April 23, 2016, 4/23/2016, etc.)
  • Figure out about how many years ago St. George lived using a simple story math problem.
  • Solo or in pairs see if, within five minutes, you can come up with 23 equations that include the number 23 in them.

More Faith:

  • Review what it means to be a saint and how one becomes a "named saint".
  • Discuss the virtues St. George models for us.


I, for one, am looking forward to using some of the "academic" ideas we did not use this year for next year.  I pray that all of the ideas I have shared might help you and yours enjoy future St. George's Day celebrations, too!

I'd love to hear about your favorite St. George's feast day traditions, menu ideas, activities, prayers, and lessons.  Please do take a moment to share them here in a comment.  Links to your ideas are welcome.


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